Communication is the process of conveying information or ideas from one person to another. According to Berlos model of communication, there has to be the source (sender), message, channel and destination (receiver) for effective communication to take place. According to this model, the sender and receiver have to be on a common ground. This paper applies Berlos model of communication to analyze a communication situation that I recently experienced in my workplace.
Recently, there was a change in the management team of our company as one of the top managers had resigned on health grounds. All members of staff were to be informed about the change in a random meeting. Our Chief Executive Officer (CEO) decided to use a rather unorthodox method of informing the workers that there would be an off-the-cuff meeting aimed at introducing the new management team. Instead of using a memo, she decided to communicate the message verbally. She spent a whole afternoon, moving from one department to the next, informing the members of the impending meeting. The main function of this message was to inform as well as persuade the members to attend the meeting, scheduled for the next morning, as it was very important.
The message was well encoded. It was well formulated and utilized a rather informal tone. The main words used were that there would be a random meeting the following morning and every member of staff was urged to attend as it would be the beginning of a new chapter for the company. As she relayed the message, our CEO looked rather jovial and smiled broadly at everybody. The principal channels used to transmit this message in this context included hearing and seeing. The staff members saw the CEO and heard her message. As a result, they decoded it by listening and responding appropriately. It can actually be concluded that each of them understood what the general manager meant.
Nevertheless, in the process of communicating this message, some communication noise was experienced. This included both physical and psychological noise. Physically, some members were already tired, it being an afternoon, while others were longing to go home since their time was almost over. A ringing phone also interfered with listening in one of the departments. Psychologically, there was unprecedented excitement as the general manager was applying this kind of communication channel for the first time since she joined the firm. Most of the workers could not believe that it was happening hence their attention was affected to a certain extent. The context of the communication even made things worse as people were just about to wind up the day. The climate was characteristically charged as many concentrated on narrating the events of the day, including the CEOs unconventional action. All this interfered with the interpretation of the intended message.
The intended effect of this message was to merely inform the members of the impending meeting. However, the communication seems to have given more implied information than the intended. The members, for instance, could not understand why their no-nonsense CEO seemed so jovial while communicating the message: was she excited because she was getting a new team, of the meeting, or because the sickly manager had resigned? A shared meaning may, in this case, not have been achieved since the receivers seemed to concentrate more on the implied than the intended meaning of the message. The body language and mode of communication of the sender should therefore be changed so that the intended message is understood. The sender should, in future, use a more formal communication channel in such a context.
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